The Effects of Safe Sex Practice Education on Knowledge and Attitudes Among College Students

Doctoral Candidate Name: 
Brendalynn Lieberman
Doctor of Nursing Practice

The effects of safe sex practice education on knowledge and attitudes among college students. (Under the direction of DR. KATHLEEN JORDAN)

Introduction: Sexual health education is crucial in reducing the burden of STIs among young adults. Comprehensive sexuality education can lead to positive risk reduction outcomes, such as delayed initiation of sex, a decreased number of sexual partners and frequency of sex, and increased use of contraceptives. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational program focused on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and safe sex practices among college students who are Greek life members. The intervention aimed to enhance the knowledge and attitudes of these students regarding sexual health and promote healthier sexual behaviors. This project is significant as it endeavors to fill the gap in existing literature concerning the effectiveness of sexual health education in college populations who are at heightened risk for STIs.
Design/Methods: The study utilized a pre-post intervention quantitative design. A convenience sample of 23 sorority and fraternity members aged 18-24 participated in the study. The intervention included an educational session focusing on aspects of sexual health, including transmission, screening, prevention of STIs, as well as safe sex practices. Participants were surveyed before and after the educational intervention using the STD Knowledge Questionnaire (STD-KQ).
Results: Of the 55 Greek life members who completed the pre-test, 23 completed the post-test. A paired-sample t-test showed that there was a statistically significant difference in STD-KQ scores pre- and post-intervention, t(22) = 4.51, p < .001, 95%CI [3.36, 9.08]. The average STD-KQ scores significantly increased from 8.65 ± 5.69 pre-intervention to 14.87 ± 5.69 post-intervention, indicating a significant improvement in STI knowledge and attitudes among the participants after the educational program. Additionally, most respondents reported an increased likelihood of using condoms during sexual activity post-intervention. Additionally, the respondents also reported an increased awareness of STDs and safe sex practices.
The findings highlighted the positive impact of targeted sexual health education in a university setting, especially within the Greek life community. These results underscored the need for universities and health educators to prioritize and integrate sexual health education within the curriculum. Lastly, the study also supports adopting a structured, informative approach to improve students’ awareness and practices regarding STI prevention.

Defense Date and Time: 
Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - 9:00am
Defense Location: 
CHHS 102
Committee Chair's Name: 
Dr. Kathleen Jordan
Committee Members: 
Dr. Katie Shue-McGuffin, Dr. Heather Anderson and Dr. Dippong